Words by Maurice Tierney. Photos courtesy of www.firstflightbikes.com.
Richard Cunningham founded Mantis Bicycles in 1981. Ever the innovator, Mantis made a variety of bikes, including the fillet brazed Sherpa, Pro Floater suspension bike and Flying V monocoque frame. Here we have an early Valkyrie X frame bike, made just before elevated chainstays came into vogue. The crossing tubes made for a super strong frame with good standover. The paint is multi-colored fade, taped off with a radical looking web design and then shot with black. The parts mix epitomizes the glory days of purple anodized parts. A sight to behold! From the collection of First Flight Bikes, Statesville, NC.
Frame/Fork: Mantis Chromoly steel
Wheels: Nuke Proof hubs, Salsa QR’s, Wheelsmith doublebutted spokes, purple alloy nipples, Mavic M231 rims, IRC Mythos XC tires
Pedals: Grafton Speed Traps
Cranks: Grafton Speed Sticks, Specialized Rings
Rear Cogs: Shimano Dura Ace 7 speed freewheel
Bottom Bracket: White Industries, Ti bolts
Front Derailleur: Suntour XC 9000
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
Shifters: Shimano Deore XT thumb
Stem: Salsa, painted to match
Headset: Chris King threaded
Brakes: WTB roller cam
Brake Levers: Paul Components
Saddle: Specialized, WTB designed
Seat Post: Syncros Size: 20”
This post was originally published in Dirt Rag #116.